Professional tennis player Arthur Ashe once said, "From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." Ashe may not have known back then what today's research reveals about giving: It creates community, improves our well-being, and engages us in a world far beyone our own. It's also fun.
For years, MGC has made "giving back" one of the cornerstones of its company culture - through donations, participation in charitable events, and group volunteering. One of the most moving MGC volunteer initiatives to date occurred this past January, when 30 employees created food packages for Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit that provides nutritionally complete meals for malnourished people in more than 70 countries worldwide. Employees took two hours on January 15 and 16 to work at the Coon Rapids, Minnesota facility. Together with the other locally based volunteers, the MGC Diagnostics team packed a total of 55,000 meals for Haiti - allowing 125 kids to receive one meal a day for a full year.
"It was an incredible experience," says Lisa Knepper, manager of education, training and clinical research, who was in charge of coordinating the event for MGC employees. "When all the food is packed up on the pallets, you have this moment where you pause and reflect, and they announce the number of meals being shipped. There wasn't a dry eye in the house at that moment." As a result of the event's success, the team has pledged to return to Feed My Starving Children twice annually.
With January behind them, MGC employees are turning to February's "giving back" activities. Knepper says the company will cater in complementary soup and sandwiches for lunch one day to raise donations for the Ronald McDonald House. The company is also sponsoring Fight for Air Climb, an American Lung Association event held on February 21, in which participants will walk or run 31 floors to the top of the US Bank Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota as many times as they are able within a one-hour period.
"We are really dedicated to ensuring that giving back remains part of what we do at MGC Diagnostics," Knepper says "After the work at Feed My Starving Children, there wasn't one person who didn't come up to me to ask when we would do it again. That tells us how important it really is."